raised patio

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by soupman, May 18, 2003.

  1. soupman

    soupman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    When building a raised patio using segmental retaining blocks, how do you address where the blocks meet the pavers. The blocks are level, while the pavers have a slope to them, and with a patio that is 25 feet wide, with a 2% slope, you may drop 6 inches. Any suggestions.
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    I know what you are asking but a bit more info may help... is the patio completely surrounded by the wall? or is it boxed in by the house? If it is completely out in the open you my be able to just crown your pavers in the middle and have a slight runoff ..you can get away with 1% for a paved surface. If you have a sketch it would help ... you may also be able to build up the sides 2 high stepping down to one ... lots of solutions If I knew exactly the challenge.
  3. earthtool

    earthtool LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    More detailed info please. I would post some pics but I haven't figured how to get it from the scanner to the post yet. Sorry:rolleyes:
  4. soupman

    soupman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    The patio is surrounded by a retaining wall on 3 sides. The patio will slope away from the house. The patio will be 25 feet wide, so even at 1%, you will still have a difference in elevation on 3 inches. I was think about stepping the wall 1 block and hiding the step with a planting bed.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    How wide is it accross the house wall? You could crown it (in cross section) and taper it to a sheet wash as you get farther out.

    Are you planning to put the patio tight to the wall? You might consider a planting bed to take up the grade change between the patio and wall then there will be no problem. You also make an aesthetically nicer patio space. It is also safer as the plants give a visual cue that the patio ends, so people are less likely to take a step backward and fall off the edge (who are they going to sue?).

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Make the width of the patio level and the sides that are coming away from the house should be pitched away from it.. Meaning the block thats at the houlse should be say 3"s higher than the one on the end corner of that side, so then when the pavers go in its' all nice and even and properly pitched... Youll need to use chaulk lines along the house and plenty of string lines...
  7. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    If you are saying that the wall is already constructed then these responses are good. If the wall is not built then all you need to do is slope the blocks and pavers at the same slope. 1-2% is all you will need.
  8. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    I am planning a similar job also, so I'm glad to see this same question I have posted. In my case there is an existing timber wall we are removing, and some patio block is rough laid on the existing soil & being removed. Wall & patio are 3 feet high.

    Zedosix, how do you slope the wall, when they are installed level??

    What I'm thinking of doing is running the slope down from the house & using bullnose pavers for the edge the slope comes to. So the edges meeting the house & the front of the wall will be level, like the wall. I'll use a different color for the bullnose (and continue that color for the soldier course) to help contrast the drop off. I was also thinking of installing some paver lights near that edge to help indentify that area at night. On the one side I am thinking I will just use the wall caps & step up half way to have the wall slightly above the patio. On the other side we're putting in steps, so I think I'll do the same thing with those walls, just use a second cap to step up the wall on the far side where it continues to the house past the steps. Now if the client doesn't want to do that, they were considering the wall be higher than the patio slightly. In that case, I'm thinking of using the same slope & just installing a couple of drains with grates at the sloped edge to get the water out. Other option is to cut some holes into the wall where needed? Or, does anyone have other ideas??

    Another question I have is should all of the area behind the wall & under the patio be removed & then base installed? Or can the normal amount of base be installed onto the existing soil, except where I need to excavate for the wall?

  9. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    In most if not all cases the retaining wall will have a slope to it. Where the ret. wall meets the house on both ends...they should be at the same height ..ie level. Now leading out from the house it would be wise to drop the wall about 1/8" - 1/4" per foot. This is standard grading practise. If your patio is 20 feet long you will have between a 2-1/2" - 5" drop from house to end of patio.
    Construct your wall and cap, back fill with appropriate stone ( here we have lots of frost so some clear stone is required directly behind the wall.)

    As for the other question, Ideally you would excavate the entire area to the same depth. Here we have alot of clay so we would excavate and slope the base. If it is a sand or stone base then I would just dig a trench for the wall and remove the top layer of grass and loose dirt before installing my base for the remainder of the patio.

    I think you will have a nicer finish to the patio if interlock and wall are at the same height.

    Hope its not too confusing. Good luck
  10. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    "Now leading out from the house it would be wise to drop the wall about 1/8" - 1/4" per foot. This is standard grading practise."

    Yep, I'm confused.

    All of the brands of concrete segmental retaining walls that I have used or seen used are designed to be installed level. I've never seen one installed not level (except DIY's, and those walls are usually having more than just problems with being level ;) ) None of the installation instructions show a method of installing them at a slope, so I'm assuming the sides that are at an angle would just need a miter cut to make them match the front section of the wall that will be level. But the corners of the wall need to have the blocks interlocked with each side so that wouldn't work either. There would be a bad eneven gap where the side wall meets the front wall because one course would have a miter cut 12" from the corner, then the next course the miter cut would be 6" from the corner etc. etc. Nope that is not possible. The other problem I see with that is that they aren't designed for that, so the side walls might put unneeded pressure onto that front face of the wall (kind of like the hydrostatic pressure that gets put onto them). Also, would that interfere with the integrity of the retaining strength of the geotextile fabric, by having one end a few inches higher than where the rest is installed (probably not, but maybe?)? I think I will stick to following the installation instructions & keep the wall level. Maybe there are other brands that are designed for that type of installation, but the Versa-Lok we're using for this one does not specify a sloped installation, especially considering the above mentioned problems at the corners .

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